Top health-related Google searches of 2022

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You can learn a lot from a search history.

This month, Google released its annual Year in Search list to show which terms had the highest peaks over the past year. The round-up offers a glimpse into what was important, curious, and concerned about for internet users around the world in 2022.

One big topic is noticeably missing this year: Covid-19. Vaccination and infection prevention were of great interest last year, but this year the top health and wellness searches failed to mention the coronavirus.

Instead, this year’s searches focused on physical and mental recovery — how to get physically stronger and how to deal with issues like anxiety, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Here’s a breakdown of Google searches in 2022 and some ways to tackle those issues in 2023.

Workouts were the focus of conversation this year: “bodyweight workouts,” “weekly workouts,” “mental health exercises,” and “gym core workouts” were all among the top health searches.

Bodyweight training is a good entry point into exercise because you don’t need expensive equipment and you can lay a foundation for later strength training, said Dana Santas, CNN fitness expert and mind-body coach in pro sports, in a previous story.

She set a 10-minute workout to get started.

– Source:
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Try this 10 minute bodyweight workout


– Source: CNN

If you want to go further and build a regular exercise routine, a mega 2021 study found the key is to create a plan, build in reminders, and reward yourself for sticking to it.

Google users asked “how to manage stress”, “how to stop a panic attack”, “how to cure depression” and “focus with ADHD”. They also looked for good mental health practices for little ones and looked for breathing exercises for children.

It may not come as a surprise that many people have focused on coping and stress, especially in the face of an ongoing global pandemic, economic concerns and the adjustments surrounding returning to school and work.

While stress is a normal physiological response that all humans experience, it can lapse into a severe state like anxiety or depression if left unchecked. One thing to look for is whether the feeling goes away after a stressful event ends, said Dr. Gail Saltz, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

Stress can also worsen mental illnesses like depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Saltz said in a 2021 interview with CNN.

If you suspect you may be suffering from chronic stress or another mental health disorder, you should talk to a trusted friend or family member to see if they’ve noticed any differences and consult a psychologist, Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, psychologist and founder of the AAKOMA Project, a non-profit youth mental health organization, in a 2021 story.

The quest for better mental and physical health didn’t end with a quick internet search, according to the data.

Popular terms included finding other mental health resources, such as books, podcasts, and journaling techniques to improve well-being.

“Expressive writing works for a number of reasons,” said James Pennebaker, a psychologist, researcher, and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Acknowledging a disturbing event has value, he added in a previous CNN story. “And writing about it also helps the person find meaning or understand it.”

There are also kept and formatted journals to help you stay on track.

A significant change this year was the addition of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for mental health crises. The number is as simple as three digits: 988.

Those numbers were among health-related searches that saw an increase this year.

The area code is available in the United States and is intended to be more accessible to people in mental health crises, similar to 911.

“One of 988’s goals is to make sure people get the help they need, when they need it, where they need it. So when a person calls 988, they can expect to have a conversation with a trained, compassionate crisis counselor who will talk to them about their experience,” said Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, the administrator of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in an interview with CNN in July.

“If they need further intervention, the crisis advisor will likely connect them to a mobile crisis response team on the ground,” she added.

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